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Facebook Moves to Trademark Its ‘Poke’ App

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Facebook PokeJust before the holidays, Facebook filed trademark applications involving its new iPhone app, Poke.

The social media giant filed trademark applications for “Poke,” “Facebook Poke,” and the logo on December 21.

Facebook users may recognize the concept of the “poke” from the earliest days of the social network. Via “poke,” one user could nudge another to respond. Indeed, Facebook even trademarked the term “poke” back in 2006 referring to that old school concept, but it abandoned that trademark in 2011.

Now in the wake of its new Poke app, Facebook is attempting to reclaim the trademark; Poke allows users to send messages that automatically self-destruct in ten seconds.

How very Mission: Impossible of it, you might be thinking, but some have questioned why Poke even exists since it seems to be “a clone of Snapchat, an app popular among teenagers,” especially for “sexting.” TechCrunch has this to say:

Seems that Facebook didn’t want to wait for Snapchat to get so big it’d have to make another costly acquisition like Instagram and instead decided to compete early. We heard rumors that it had made overtures about acquiring Snapchat, but when the founders decided to stay independent, Facebook built its own version in just 12 days.

Twelve days! Now let’s see how long it takes the trademark applications to go through the USPTO.

Do you think Facebook should be able to reclaim trademark protection over “Poke?” And is this an app you’d be interested in?

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January 7th, 2013 at 10:04 am

Posted in Intellectual Property

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